Can Being Outside Make Me Healthier and Happier?

What triggers a good day into motion? We automatically are set up for a win when there are clear skies and a bright sun in our midst. Have you ever noticed the difference you feel when it’s cloudy outside? We tend to be less happy when the skies are painted grey and there is no sun to be found. Just being outside can change the response our bodies have to day-to-day life. According to “Greenery (or Even Photos of Trees) Can Make Us Happier” by Gretchen Reynolds from the New York Tines, “A study from Stanford last year, for example, found that young adults who walked for an hour through campus parkland were less anxious afterward and performed better on a test of working memory than if they had strolled along a busy street.”

The Stanford study clearly indicates the effects being outside have on our bodies. Not only are we able to feel better mood wise, we are able to preform better. If we took the time to be exposed to the outside more often, how would this affect our lives? Would we be happier and healthier mentally?

A study published in “The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public”, had students connected with sensors to a monitor that detected electrical activity. After being exposed to photos buildings and green places, students were then asked to solve a number of difficult math problems. The results showed “when the students saw green spaces after the math stressor, their parasympathetic nervous systems kicked in, lowering heart rates”. However when they were shown photos of buildings it had no affect on them.

Our minds have now been expanded to the idea that being exposed to greenery and the outdoors can better our responses to daily life. How would our lives look like if we made it our priority to be in the outdoors?

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